Snake venoms are attractive natural sources for drug discovery and development, with a number of substances either in clinical use or in research and development. These drugs were developed based on RGD-containing snake venom disintegrins, which efficiently antagonize fibrinogen activation of αIIbβ3 integrin (glycoprotein GP IIb/IIIa). Typical examples of anti-platelet drugs found in clinics are Integrilin (Eptifibatide), a heptapeptide derived from Barbourin, a protein found in the venom of the American Southeastern pygmy rattlesnake and Aggrastat (Tirofiban), a small molecule based on the structure of Echistatin, and a protein found in the venom of the saw-scaled viper. Using a similar drug discovery approach, linear and cyclic peptides containing the sequence K(R)TS derived from VP12, a C-type lectin protein found in the venom of Israeli viper venom, were used as a template to synthesize Vipegitide, a novel peptidomimetic antagonist of α2β1 integrin, with anti-platelet activity. This review focus on drug discovery of these anti-platelet agents, their indications for clinical use in acute coronary syndromes and percutaneous coronary intervention based on several clinical trials, as well as their adverse effects.
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